'We've had highs, we've also had lows': Fifth Parliament rises

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- news24.com | a month ago

It ended with a whimper, rather than the bang it has become known for over the past five years. Around 17:45 on Wednesday the National Assembly rose for the last time during the fifth Parliament's term.

MPs from across political party lines strode to each other for a handshake or a hug, while others quietly made their way out of the House. Not a single party leader was present in the House: No Cyril Ramaphosa, no Mmusi Maimane, no Julius Malema, no Mangosuthu Buthelezi, no Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, no Pieter Groenewald, no Mosiuoa Lekota. It seemed as if less than half of the 400 seats were filled.

Speaker Baleka Mbete was the first to deliver a farewell address. Like those who followed, she commiserated with ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu whose daughter died on Tuesday evening. Mthembu, understandably, was absent.

She said Mthembu's daughter, Khwezi, was exactly the same age as our democracy, 25 years."It is very, very sad," Mbete said."As a parent myself who has a child that suffers in a particular way, I know the chief whip was a fellow traveller.

"10 000 questions during termTurning to the fifth Parliament, Mbete said: "We've had highs, we've also had lows.

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